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Government Shutdown Continues over Border Wall Funding; House Democrats to Offer Bill with Additional $1 Billion in Border Security Funding Unrelated to Border Wall; President Trump Announces Upcoming Meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un; Interview with Rep. Katie Porter, (D-CA); Storms Delay Flights at Airports Across U.S.; Annual Women's March Begins in Washington D.C.; Food Banks Serve Increasing Number of Unpaid Government Workers; New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Visits Iowa. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired January 19, 2019 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:22] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Always so grateful to have your company. Good morning. Saturday, January 19th. I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. You are in the CNN Newsroom.
PAUL: And possible signs this morning of movement in regards to the shutdown stalemate. In a strategic shift, House Democrats have offered $1 billion in border related spending. They're adding that to the package of bills to reopen the government that set for a vote next week. But there's a catch.
BLACKWELL: The catch is there's no money for the border wall, which makes it unlikely the break in the stalemate will come between Democrats and the White House. This is happening on the same morning we're learning that President Trump is planning to make an offer of his own to the Democrats. That's going to come in a speech later this afternoon.
We've got the reporter who broke the story about the additional $1 billion from the Democrats, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, on the phone with us. Julie, good morning to you. We know there's no money for the wall. Tell us what the money is allocated for, and why this strategic shift by the Democrats?
JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Good morning. Well, so this is about a little over $1 billion that is in a package of six spending bill that the House Democrats are planning to bring up next week. It would be -- about half of it for enhanced infrastructure essentially at the ports of entry, so places on the border where people come up and present themselves where the president talked a lot about needing more security and bolstering protections there. So that's about a little over $500 million for that.
There's another about $560 million that's for immigration judges. This is not border security per see, but these are the judges that handle the claims of people who present themselves at the border and claim asylum, of which there has been a large uptick that the president also talks about being a big threat. So those --
PAUL: So Julie, when we talk about nearing some sort of progress here to get the government reopened, we can't really characterize this as a compromise, can we?
DAVIS: Well, no, this is more in the vain of Democrats telling the public and the president, really, what they would be for. So they've been saying no wall, we're not going to invest more than a dollar in what the president says is the way to tackle this border security issue. But this is the beginning of Democrats putting forth what they would do instead.
And now there's a separate funding bill for Department of Homeland Security that the Democrats are also considering bringing up next week with additional border security funding in it. And if they do that, that would be sort of their opening gambit, saying, OK, this is our proposal. You were asking for $5.7 billion for a wall. We think that's stupid and ineffective, in their words, and this is what we propose instead. So this is really sort of the beginning of them trying to show not just that they're against the wall, but they're actually for an alternative.
BLACKWELL: Julie, we have to interrupt. The president is on the South Lawn of the White House. This is from a few moments ago.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- very sad occasion. We'll then be back, and we have a very busy day planned. We had a very good meeting yesterday with North Korea. That was an incredible meeting. It lasted almost two hours. And we've agreed to meet sometime probably the end of February. We picked a country but we'll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong-un is looking very forward to it and so am I.
We've made a lot of progress that has not been reported by the media, but we have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned. And we're talking about a lot of different things, but we've made tremendous progress that has not been reported, unfortunately, but it will be. Things are going very well with North Korea.
Things are going very well with China and with trade. There were some false reports about sanctions being removed. We have taken in tremendous amounts of money in the United States because of the sanctions, and we'll see how it goes. And if we make a deal, certainly we wouldn't have sanctions. And if we don't make a deal, we will. But I think China has been -- we really had a very extraordinary number of meetings, and a deal could very well happen with China. It's going very well, I would say about as well as it could possibly go, and without a question.
[10:05:06] TRUMP: I think it's the toughest thing I have to do. When I'm going to meet relatives of some of our great, great heroes that have fallen, I think it might be the toughest thing I have to do as president.
TRUMP: What we have done is we've -- when I took over, Syria was loaded with ISIS. And again, when you say, I've always said, who are we killing ISIS for? You know, the worst enemy of Russia, Iran, Syria, you look at it, is ISIS. So we're killing ISIS for people that aren't necessarily always in agreement with us, let's put it that way.
We've gone into Syria, and in two years we have I guess reduced it to about 99 percent of the territorial caliphate. That doesn't mean you're not going to have somebody around, and who knows what happens and who it was, because nobody is sure. But I will say this, we have taken it. Syria was a mess. We've done Assad a very big favor. We've also done our country a favor, but we brought it down to less than one percent. As you know, we didn't stop. We could be pulling back, but we have been hitting ISIS very hard over the last three weeks, in particular over the last three weeks, and it's moving along very well. Moving along very well.
But when I took over, it was a total mess. But you do have to ask yourself, we're killing ISIS for Russia, for Iran, for Syria, for Iraq, for a lot of other places. At some point you want to bring our people back home. I have been talking about this since the campaign. But we've done a very -- we're down to 99 percent, we have control of 99 percent, and we're hitting the rest of it very, very powerfully over the last three weeks.
TRUMP: I'm going to be making a statement at 3:00, Steve. I hope you'll be there, but I think it will be an important statement, having to do with the, as you know, caravans are coming up. They have a big one coming up now. I'm disappointed that Mexico is not stopping them. I mean, Mexico seems unfortunately powerless to stop them. Many got through, they broke through the Mexican area where in theory they were guarded and they weren't so well guarded. So you have a lot of people in caravans coming up. If we had a wall, we wouldn't have a problem. But we don't. We have too many open areas.
The walls we fixed and the walls that we've built hold beautifully, but we have a lot of open areas, and it is too bad. Now, the previous caravans we stopped. They're now in Tijuana. I don't know what they're doing in Tijuana, but they're not in our country, that I can tell you.
TRUMP: You're going to see at 3:00. You'll see at 3:00.
TRUMP: Well, I hope that Speaker Pelosi can come along and realize what everybody knows. No matter who it is, they know that walls work, and we need walls. And whether it's personal or not, it's not personal for me. She's being controlled by the radical left, which is a problem. And she's under total control of the radical left. I think that's a very bad thing for her. I think it's a very bad thing for the Democrats.
Everybody knows that walls work. You look at different places, they put up a wall, no problem. You look at San Antonio, you look at so many different places, they go from one of the most unsafe cities in the country to one of the safest cities immediately, immediately. It works. We have to put them up, and we will put them up. We've got to.
TRUMP: I think we're making a lot of progress. We're building the wall as we speak. Nobody covers that, and I understand that, but we're building wall as we speak. We are going to continue. This country cannot be secure. You have human traffickers, you have criminals of all kinds, you have drug pushers and drug smugglers at a level that people haven't seen over the last five or six years. It has gotten to a point, nobody has seen anything like it. The Border Patrol has done an incredible job, but we need the help and the backup of a wall.
[10:10:00] TRUMP: Yes, I thought it was -- I thought that the "BuzzFeed" piece, and maybe equally as bad, the coverage of the "BuzzFeed" phony story, it was a total phony story, and I appreciate the special counsel coming out with a statement last night. I think it was very appropriate that they did so. I very much appreciate that.
I think that the "BuzzFeed" piece was a disgrace to our country. It was a disgrace to journalism. And I think also that the coverage by the mainstream media was disgraceful. And I think it's going to take a long time for the mainstream media to recover its credibility. It has lost tremendous credibility. And believe me, that hurts me when I see that. I'm the president of this country. Media can pull this country together. It hurts me to say it, but mainstream media has truly lost its credibility.
And I can say as far as I'm concerned, from before the election, during the campaign, I said, wow. This is really crooked stuff, this is really dishonest reporting. When "The New York Times" apologized after the election for their bad coverage and their faulty coverage, and then they were wonderful for two weeks, and then they went back to being worse than before. And so many others, I'm not just blaming "The Times," but mainstream media has lost its credibility, and that's a very bad thing for our country. Thank you very much.
BLACKWELL: That was President Trump there on the South Lawn of the White House. We'll be right back with more. We have got CNN's Jeremy Diamond who is also at the White House, also with Congresswoman Katie Porter from California. We'll speak with them after the break.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [10:15:58] PAUL: It's 15 minutes past the hour. Democrats are offering $1 billion in border security funding, but that did not include a wall which the president says is imperative. The president seems to be holding his line on that shutdown, telling Democrats, look, walls work. He just said it. You heard him.
Joining us now, CNN White House reporter Jeremy Diamond with us. So Jeremy, we know the president is set to make his own offer to Democrats this afternoon. He wouldn't elaborate on it there, but have you heard anything about what that is going to entail?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. Our sources are telling us that the president is expected to make his latest counteroffer to Democrats during this 3:00 p.m. announcement. I asked the president moments ago what will your message to Democrats be, and the president, always one for the suspense of television, encouraging us to simply tune in at 3:00 this afternoon.
But he did make clear that he is certainly not going to be backing away from his demand for funding for a border wall. He said it repeatedly today, that walls work, and he suggested that House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is being held hostage by the leftwing of her party. That, though, is not necessarily the case. Nancy Pelosi has made clear from the beginning that she will not be offering any funding for a border wall, certainly while this government shutdown continues. Democrats, instead have been calling on the president to reopen the government and then allow for negotiations on border security and immigration only after the government has reopened.
But as you mentioned, Democrats now offering an additional $1 billion in border related spending. None of that, though, going towards the wall. That funding would go partly for infrastructure at ports of entry and also funding for additional immigration judges to process some of those asylum claims. So both sides now seeming to offer their latest revised proposals to end this government shutdown, but neither of those proposals is resolving this intractable issue of border wall spending. So expect that despite the president's announcement at 3:00 p.m. and this latest proposal from Democrats, it appears this shutdown is likely to continue as we hit day 29 today.
PAUL: And not what all of these people need to hear. Jeremy Diamond, thank you.
BLACKWELL: With me now, Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter from California. Congresswoman, good morning to you.
REP. KATIE PORTER, (D) CALIFORNIA: Thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: So first, let me start here. Do you support the additional $1 billion plus for border related funding that's being reported by the "New York Times"?
PORTER: I absolutely support additional investments in border security. It's a really important part of keeping our nation safe. We want to focus on border security strategies that work. Most of the illegal drugs that come into the country come in through ports of entry, particularly by ocean. And so the kinds of border security measures we're offering improves scanning technology, additional personnel. Those are going to help make our country safer. And I'm excited about moving the bill forward to help open the government.
BLACKWELL: So again, as Jeremy Diamond just reported, roughly half, not exactly half, but roughly going for infrastructure support to the ports of entry, the other half going to fund 75 immigration judges to deal with the backlog of asylum claims. Not a dime for the wall. So how does the additional $1 billion get the two sides any closer to a resolution to end the shutdown?
PORTER: What we're trying to do is offer the American people what will keep them safe, which is better border security and to make sure the humanitarian crisis at our borders with people who have come seeking asylum is being addressed. The wall will not keep us safer and it will not do anything to help those who are coming and fleeing violence from Central America. So we're trying to offer smart, effective strategies that make good use of taxpayer dollars and that will work.
And so people can dig tunnels under walls, they can simply go around on the ocean and come into ports like long beach and Los Angeles. So we need strategies that are demonstrated to be effective and that are a smart use of taxpayer dollars.
[10:20:04] We're committed to border security, and we want to have this debate with the president and for the people of the United States about how best to do border security. We voted nine times to open this government up so we can have that debate.
BLACKWELL: I understand. But is this a stunt, to put it bluntly? Because if two things -- if there's not a dollar for the wall, and the president is adamant about the wall, then how does this, again, get any closer to a resolution. Second, if Democrats knew that additional $500 plus billion was necessary to keep people safe and to build the infrastructure of the ports of entry and they needed another 75 immigration judges, why wasn't this part of the initial offer?
PORTER: What we did initially on the day that I was sworn in, January 3rd, was pass the exact same bills that the Republican controlled Senate had passed just a week before. So our first step was to say this is what our colleagues in the Senate and both sides of the aisle support. Let's match what the Senate has done and send a unified front, Democrats, Republicans, the Senate and the House, to President Trump.
We have a system of checks and balances. The president does not get to unilaterally decide all matters of policy. And so our first step was to try to enact what the Senate colleagues had passed, Republican controlled Senate, and they refused to take those up. What we've done since then is try a series of other bills. We're trying anything in order to get the Senate to make a vote and to express their views on what we should be doing with border security.
BLACKWELL: Congresswoman, let me ask you this. We're running short on time and I have got two other questions I want to get answered. Please forgive the interruption. But the president has this major announcement coming at 3:00 p.m. today. Is there anything, any incentive because we're told by the White House that there will be some for Democrats, but the president will not drop his wall. Is there any incentive that the president can add to a potential deal that would earn your vote and provide money for a barrier for a border wall?
PORTER: I'm going to wait and see what the president has to say. I think we have to hear what his terms are and listen to him and continue to debate with him. I really hope he agrees to open at least the other branches of government besides the Democrat of Homeland Security. There's no reason for our workers at our national parks and Commerce Department and Interior.
BLACKWELL: But am I hearing you saying that there is a possibility there could be incentive that would earn your vote and get your vote for funding for a border wall? So you're not --
PORTER: I won't say no to any proposal that I haven't heard. It's my job to listen to the president and then do what I think is best for constituents.
BLACKWELL: Fair enough. Congresswoman Katie Porter, thanks so much.
PORTER: Thank you.
PAUL: So nearly 2,000 flights are cancelled this weekend already as a massive storm is slamming the Midwest and east coast or gets ready to. We're talking about 100 million of you already under weather alerts. We have the latest on that in a moment. Stay close.
[10:27:40] BLACKWELL: Thousands of flights already cancelled, and more than 100 million people under a winter weather alert from the Midwest to the northeast. There's significant snow and ice expected in the north this weekend. Heavy rain as well, and severe weather could slam the south, too.
PAUL: CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN Weather Center watching all of it. How long is this going to last, and how bad is it going to get, Allison?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right, so the precipitation actually falling will likely last just about the next 36 hours, but because temperatures are going to be so cold, it's going to stay on the ground for a lot of these areas for days.
So let's take a look at where the worst conditions are as we speak. Right now, you've got snow coming down in places like Toledo, Detroit. Still a little bit coming down around Chicago. The concern right now is for cities like Indianapolis and Columbus where you're actually getting almost entirely freezing rain at this point. That's just a coating of ice on all your surfaces, your cars, your roadways, all of that stuff, which is not good. As we go through the rest of the day, there is still the potential for
more ice to accumulate in states like Ohio, Kentucky, even Indiana. Then the system begins to push off to the east. Shortly after dinner time tonight, we expect snow to start in New York. But then it will start to transition into an ice and sleet, eventually into a rain, and then back once again to a snow as the system starts to wrap back up and finally begins to exit the area.
The heaviest snowfall out of this storm is actually going to be for portions of interior New England, especially as you get in some of those higher elevations -- 18, 20, if not even 24 inches is not out of the question. But even some bigger cities, Cleveland, Columbus, still possible to get eight to 12 inches of snow. Cities like Boston, Hartford, the main concern here is actually going to be ice.
Normally when we get snowstorms up to a quarter of an inch of ice is not out of the question. This storm, our main concern is this blue to pink color. That where you're talking about three-quarters of an inch, maybe even perhaps as much as a full inch of ice. That will cause widespread power outages, not to mention all of the travel concerns that you'll have.
Keep in mind, even a slight shift of, say, about 20 to 30 miles for this low can have huge change in what those snowfall totals are or even the ice totals. So keep that in mind. One thing that is absolutely for certain is there are going to be a tremendous amount of travel problems, obviously on the roadways, but also in the air. Airports -- Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, even Columbus are likely to have significant amounts of delays, not just today but even going into tomorrow. And on the southern end, even a city like Atlanta may have some delays.
[10:30:07] But for the other side of the storm, now we're actually talking about severe potential. There is the potential in this yellow area here to have some very strong winds, also the potential for some tornadoes does exist in this same particular area.
So again, Victor and Christi, we have that tornado watch in effect for areas of Louisiana and portions of Mississippi until about 1:00 this afternoon central time. But all those areas out to the east also still have the potential to have those strong to even severe thunderstorms through the evening hours.
BLACKWELL: Something for everybody unfortunately. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.
PAUL: Still about 30 minutes away from official start time of the Women's March this year, the third Women's March here. Want to show you what's happening in New York right now as they march for political change and the rights of women everywhere. But these are taking place in Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, and elsewhere. There is some controversy attached this year that has not been connected the last couple years. Erica Hill is following the march in Boston. What are you seeing there in Boston, Erica? ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christi, good morning. We are
about a half-an-hour from the start here in Boston which you can likely hear by music behind me on the stage as they're getting ready to kick things off. I can tell you the area behind me has really filled in in the last hour or so.
So here in Boston, this is a locally organized march. This is organized by March Forward Massachusetts. And I want to point out that the hundreds of marches around the country, whether they're in big cities or small towns, are organized locally as they have been from the very beginning in 2017.
But this year, as you pointed out, there is some question and there is controversy. And that specifically involves a group known as Women's March Inc. This is the the group that is organizing the march in Washington, D.C., and has done so for the last couple of years. The questions surrounding that group have to do with views of association with Louis Farrakhan, who is of course the leader of the Nation of Islam, who is known for his hate speech against Jews, against the LGBTQ community.
Questions arose after one of the co-presidents, Tamika Mallory, talked about being at an event in 2018 where Farrakhan called Jews his enemy. She had also posted a picture back in 2017 of him, calling the greatest of all time. The organization has distanced itself from those comments, has denounced anti-Semitism, has denounced hatred. There have been more calls for her to specifically denounce his comments.
And that's where a lot of the issues are coming from, Christi. Local organizers telling us, including folks here in Boston, the executive director here, telling me that it has been a distraction for her and for others because they're continually answering questions about whether this march is for all women, whether it is for all Americans, whether Jews are welcome. She said this is absolutely, I spoke with her just a short time ago, this march is for all women. They want to know that they stand against hate, against anti-Semitism, against anyone who would be excluded. And they want to make the message again, Christi, very clear, they are not associated with leadership of the Women's March in Washington.
PAUL: So we actually had one of the other co-founders, Linda Sarsour, on earlier. She did indeed denounce the anti-Semitic statements by Louis Farrakhan. Is there any indication to you that there is a lasting effect from Tamika Mallory and her refusal to denounce that, that there's a lasting effect to how broad this organization can be?
HILL: So I can tell you that in leaders of different marches who I have spoken with over the last couple of weeks, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, we've reached out to folks in Chicago who work on similar events, what they have told us is that the confusion among all the different marches and the fact that they're all called Women's Marches had definitely an impact. In fact organizers in New York telling me earlier this week there was confusion because, and this is confusing, an offshoot of the D.C. leadership in New York City wanted to hold its own march. They are now holding a rally. There's only one march organized by the group that's been doing it for the last three years. So local organizers telling me the confusion has, Christi, definitely had an impact. What that will translate into today, that is an unanswered question.
PAUL: Understandable. Thank you, Erica Hill, for trying to make some sense of something that is becoming a little bit complicated. We appreciate it, as always.
BLACKWELL: Still to come, federal workers and their families line up for blocks for groceries. This is at food banks across the country. We'll talk to the president and CEO of a food bank helping workers in New York City, that's next.
[10:38:43] BLACKWELL: It is day 29 of the federal government partial shutdown. And across the country, workers who were furloughed or working without pay are turning now to food banks to help meet their needs. In Atlanta, workers and their families waited in long, look at these, long lines for groceries. Similar things have happened at food pantries all across the country, including the food bank in New York, which will have more than 600 volunteers out this weekend to prep and cook and serve meals to workers and others in need.
Joining me is Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of Food Bank for New York City. Margarette, thanks so much for being with us this morning. And I know that the weeks and months after the holidays are traditionally tight times for food banks and people who rely on the banks. Give me an idea of how many additional people you're serving because of this shutdown.
MARGARETTE PURVIS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY: Thank you so much for having us. Food Bank for New York City serves 1.5 million New Yorkers every year. However, because of the government shutdown, there's about 18,000 government workers who we know within this area who are being effected, who are operating and having bills that are showing up on time without a paycheck that they expected to be able to rely on.
[10:40:05] BLACKWELL: And of all the cities that we are featuring this weekend, talking about the challenges of feeding their families, New York is a very expensive place to buy meals. The cost of a meal, we have the stats, can put it up here, has increased, according to your organization, 46 percent over the last five years in Manhattan alone.
PURVIS: Absolutely. The cost of living in New York City makes poverty just that much more difficult. Every food bank around the country, we may all do some parts of our work a little differently. But what we all specialize in is serving vulnerabilities. And for all of these government workers, they are being shocked by their recent introduction to being amongst the vulnerable. And basically, that means not knowing where your next meal is coming from. This is a scary reality that many moms and seniors live with every day, but unfortunately now the people who help our country run, the people who keep us all safe, are also facing the same perils. BLACKWELL: And you remind us to not ignore the ripple effects that
come after the food and income insecurity. It's not just the person has now been fed and they can now go back to work once the shut dwon is over, but there will be ripple effects that will go on for some time.
PURVIS: Absolutely. Listen, I think that when it comes to people thinking about poverty and hunger, it is very easy to think about us and them. But the reality is this. When it comes to something like food stamps, food stamps shows up in a grocery store, in a cash register, as cash. So that while that card may be in the hand of one person, let's say for every dollar that goes to a family who is on food stamps, it returns $1.73.
Our SNAP program is also threatened, because when people hear about government workers not paid, that's just a symptom of the larger issue. That means government services are not occurring. Right now, the most vulnerable people are now, we just got a note from the mayor's office that people will be receiving their food stamps that they were supposed to get for February now, and that money is supposed to stretch them through end of February, top of March.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and the alert is that once you get to the end of February, they don't know if they'll have money to give them after that. Margarette Purvis, thank you so much for spending some time with us.
PURVIS: Thank you so much for having us.
BLACKWELL: And I just want to take a moment here. A few hours ago, I did something I've never done before, and I have asked you at home to support your local food bank. And if you do, tell me about it online using the #shutdownhunger. And hundreds of people, if not thousands of people, have done so all across the country. "#Shutdownhunger" was trending across the United States. Thank you so much for supporting the people in the community, working people, people who work for us who need some help in this difficult time. We'll take a quick break. We'll be back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm about to lose my car. I'm about to lose my Medicaid, my car insurance. I'm about to even lose my driver's license.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got to decide, do you buy something to eat or do you put gas in your vehicle?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband is in there making homemade bread because it is cheaper than buying a loaf at the store.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have enough for one more mortgage payment then I have to go to CarMax tomorrow and sell my car.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This last weekend I didn't wear my insulin pump at all. I just took it off. I went to bed and just hoped I'd wake up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:48:35] BLACKWELL: As New York prepares for a changing climate and braces for future hurricanes, it's taking a cue from history. This week's Mission Ahead looks at how oyster reefs can protect the city from future storms.
PETE MALINOWSKI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BILLION OYSTER PROJECT: When Europeans first arrived in New York harbor, there were oyster reefs everywhere, 200,000 acres of oyster reef.
KATE ORFF, FOUNDER, SCAPE STUDIO: They were once a big part of the culture of New York, the food culture of New York. Oyster used to be sold on basically like hot dog carts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened to that?
MALINOWSKI: We ate them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Early New York boomed on an oyster economy. But it turns out, these oyster reefs had a much more important role.
ORFF: Oysters are ecosystem engineers in the harbor. They help create reefs. They filter water, they clean water.
MALINOWSKI: The oyster reefs actually reduce the impact of storms and storm surges and things like that. When you had a complex, three- dimensional shoreline that has both oyster reefs and saltmarsh and all of that working together. Without the oyster reefs, New York is more vulnerable to storms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's something a team of designers and engineers are trying to solve. Funded by a federal disaster relief grant and designed by SCAPE, a landscape architecture firm, the Living Breakwaters Project is meant to safeguard part of New York City's coastline.
ORFF: It is a roughly two-mile long chain of breakwaters that are designed in an ecological way. It is reducing risk and the incredible wave action that was faced by communities.
[10:50:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And a major component of the project is the small and briny oyster.
ORFF: These breakwaters are seeded with oysters, and the oyster will agglomerate on the structure, grow and form their own kind of layer of complexity on top. The dream to really bring oyster reefs back to our harbor.
(END VIDEOTAPE) PAUL: So the White House says President Trump and North Korean leader
Kim Jong-un will meet for a second summit, and that it's happening next month. President Trump spent 90 minutes talking to North Korea's lead negotiator Kim Yong-chol, yesterday, and they held a conversation in the Oval Office on denuclearization and this upcoming summit. Samantha Vinograd with us now. She's a CNN national security analyst and former senior adviser to the national security under President Obama, should point out.
Sam, let's listen together here, because just about 30 minutes ago, the president said that they have made a lot of progress, tremendous progress on North Korea. Let's listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've made a lot of progress that has not been reported by the media, but we have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned. And we're talking about a lot of different things. But we've made tremendous progress that has not been reported, unfortunately, but it will be. Things are going very well with North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: So Sam, what do we know about the denuclearization process in North Korea and what it means to the second summit?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Christi, we had Vice President Pence say just on Wednesday exactly the opposite of what President Trump said. He said we have not made concrete progress on denuclearization.
And there's no need to reinvent the wheel on denuclearization. There's a very easy way to assess whether we have or have not made progress. Have our experts on disarmament met with their North Korean counterparts? We have not seen reporting to indicate that these experts have had detailed discussions or even really met face to face in a substantive way since the Singapore summit.
And based upon that, it is really a foregone conclusion that we haven't taken the basic steps that would be required to lay ground work for inspections of nuclear sites or an inventory of what North Korea's nuclear arsenal looks like. And based on that, it really tells us what to expect from this forthcoming summit, and it's likely going to be more of a photo op, rather than announcing anything substantive.
PAUL: So you don't think North Korea is likely to engage any further than they already have?
VINOGRAD: I think that Kim Jong-un will likely show up and smile for the cameras. But my big fear here, Christi, is that the nuclear threat from North Korea has factually speaking increased since the Singapore summit. We have been told publicly that they have continued to produce nuclear material. Last year they had between 20 and 60 weapons. So their arsenal has gotten bigger, not smaller, since the last summit, which should be a concern for all of us. And Kim Jong-un has said he is not going to play ball with the United States unless we give him something, and we don't know what President Trump has put on the table in terms of U.S. concessions just to get Kim Jong-un to show up at another summit.
PAUL: Very good point. Samantha Vinograd, appreciate your expertise. Thank you.
VINOGRAD: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: There is a growing number of candidates announcing or close to announcing a run for the White House. We'll take a look at how Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the most recent Democrat to launch an exploratory committee, is spending her first weekend on the campaign trail.
[10:57:38] PAUL: Take a look at what is happening in Washington right now. Those are some of the crowds growing as they get ready for the Women's March to get under way here in just about three minutes. Also crowds in Boston, New York, and other cities across the country.
BLACKWELL: New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is on a tour of Iowa this weekend just days after launching a presidential exploratory committee. And CNN's Athena Jones is in Des Moines. Athena, what's on the schedule today?
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Victor. Well, the senator is starting off in Boone, Iowa, at a coffee shop talking to voters. We know she's been talking about jobs, education, and even trade. Boone is in a rural area. She's also going to stop by a coffee shop Ames, Iowa, nearby, and then she'll be here in Des Moines where she'll speak at the Iowa Women's March event which is going to be held inside the capital. You can see behind me inside the Capitol Hill because it's quite cold here. She's set to speak there and then finish off today by visiting a woman-owned brewery here in Des Moines.
Women, gender, and issues of concern to women and families have been a central focus of Gillibrand's nascent exploratory committee, it's not yet a campaign. But she has said that she believes the lessons from the 2018 midterm elections when so many women ran for and won political office is that women are the future of the Democratic Party. And in fact a source close to Gillibrand tells me that she believes that Democrats need a woman to go up against Trump. And so women's issues are a top focus.
But she's also discussed everything from education to immigration. She's talked about her first race, her congressional race in 2006, where she ran and won in a two-to-one Republican district to show her ability to appeal to a wide swath of voters. And she has been asked about her role in the departure from Senate of Minnesota Senator Al Franken. She was the first Democratic senator to call for him to resign. She has been asked about that at a house party last night. She said she had to do the right thing, even if it was painful, even if it was difficult. Victor? BLACKWELL: A lot to do today. Athena Jones there where she reminds
us it is quite cold. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.
PAUL: Oh, my gosh, I was just thinking the same thing. Athena, you look fantastic, but oh, we can tell how cold it is. Listen, you stay warm today. Hunker down. A lot of weather coming. And we hope that you make good memories today.
BLACKWELL: There's a lot ahead, the next hour of CNN Newsroom, we turn it over now to Fredricka Whitfield.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much. Good to see you guys.
PAUL: You, too.
WHITFIELD: All right, take care. It's 11:00 on the east coast. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Newsroom starts right now.